The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 21 October 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501021-TC-JWC-01; CL 25: 261-263


Chelsea, 21 Octr, 1850—

Well, my Dear, sure enough you are wanted here whenever you can come; but it is certain also that you have again decided right. I can stand these tepid ploasters for an indefinite period of time; and to run away in your present circumstances was a thing not to be thought of for a moment. Stay till Lady A. is not nervous about your going away, however long that may be. And let us hope withal it will be tomorrow! And if you have the grace to write me another line, saying by what train, I will duly be in waiting (with or without Nero):—however, you will have no difficulty without the help which otherwise I should like to give.— To say truth Miss Farrar did not expect you on Monday, nor did I quite certainly: I am accordingly to leave word at Miss F.'s as I pass today. And tell her Ladyship that I am content to have tepid food another day for her sake,—tho' I hope, not!

Emma demands only “5/” to account; which she shall have, and then go. Nor will I call in Bölte; the affair can transact itself this evening; and if I miss Darwin, I have chophouses in store. And may the gods deliver me henceforth from imbecil housemaids, when I am out of sorts and off a railway; and give me Goody to take charge of my poor existence in that case! After all, I slept last night; and feel a great deal better than I did yesterday. I have also read a good mass of Sophocles,1 and sorted (with toil enough) my new Edinburgh Box of Pipes:—that, besides existing, is nearly the sum of my history. Certain silly Letters are only in part yet answered with “No.” Ah me, and this day too is far spent!2

Besides Nero, who barked and leapt to a great extent at sight of me, I have had two visitors, not to mention Bölte,3 who came no further than the lobby. Yesterday's visitor,—as I sat answering some new “Cromwell matter” to Frewen, and had nearly finished,—was the little Irish Mephistophiles, called Marshall from Weimar!4 Poor little soul,—he was overjoyed to see me; looks uglier than ever (being just out of a Dutch Steamer); is here about Pictures for his Duke, goes on Wedy morning; will call here tomorrow in hopes of seeing Mrs Carlyle withal. I had to walk him out, as far as Hyde Park, before he would go; afterwards I found no Darwin, and came slowly and desolately home to my Sophocles and chop.— Visitor second, just gone after an hour's talk, was A. Sterling; very fat and grim, with flowers, two candlesticks, and a Talbotype Portrait of himself,—value five shillings, he says.5 He is off to Paris this night; means to breakfast there “tomorrow about nine o'clock”—just about the time you read this! He has seen Duffy; disapproves, and in part approves of the Tenant-League Agitation;—for the rest, is as good as decided to go to the Cork Estate, Rathcormac so-called;6 and is not without expectation of being shot there, he intimates. The step, however, taking in young Edward's7 interests, I decidedly think will be wise. Of Mrs Sterling I heard nothing. At Paris A. has nothing at all to do; solely some “John (?) Cunningham,”8 being lodged there in the Rue de la Paix, invites him to lodge beside him, and “walk about for a day or two.” Emma has put the flowers in water; but I suppose they may look faintish tomorrow nevertheless.

This letter from “Kirkaldy” will perhaps tell one something about John Fergus; but probably it is only some blush of Jessy's, therefore (being in great haste too) I do not open it.— Adieu, dear Goody mine; come safe tomorrow, and take the helm in hand again. Enough now. Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle